Haunted Eastern Shore - Ghosts and Haunted Places in Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a place of mystery - the accordion whine of swans passing overhead like pale phantoms in twilight; the eerie cry of eagles; will-o-the-wisp moving in a slow dance over a swamp; the dark, archaic flight of blue heron and the scream of a fox - or is it a Banshee?
It's easy to understand how ghosts may wander old abandoned farms, or blend into the frequent fogs that reach hazy tendrils along the wetland. There are places with reports of hauntings, some of which have gone on for may years. Here are some of the reported ghost sightings as well as the story of a whole town that has disappeared into the Chesapeake Bay.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a flat, sandy peninsula that lays between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, Although it's land constitutes 1/3 of the area of the state of Maryland, only 1/8 of Maryland inhabitants live there. You may find crowds of tourists at Ocean City or walking the quaint street of St. Michael's, but the rest is a relatively quiet place of small farms and towns, fields, and great stretches of wetlands.
Europeans first settled in 1631 after Captain John Smith explored the bay and rivers. Most of the indigenous Americans were gone by 1740, killed off by disease or moved out of the area. Pirates hid out in sheltered coves and some say, buried treasure along the eastern shore of the bay.
A Haunted Place
A lonely house sits empty and crumbling down an overgrown dirt road. Glance up to the window, grimed with age and neglect- was that a shadow pass, a blurred face in the window, skeletal hands twitching the tattered curtains? And the low moan of the wind as it moves between pine trees; the clatter of sailboat rigging at night as wisps of creeping ground fog scuttles across your path. The wetland grasses rustle and sigh as the the full moon casts a chill and silvery shadow.
The Haunted Eastern Shore of Maryland
Mindie Burgoyne's book, Haunted Eastern Shore takes the reader on a haunted tour of the nine counties that make up the region. Written in an engaging style, Burgoyne doesn't mess around with sensationalistic exaggeration. She doesn't have to.
The stories that Burgoyne recounts sound honest and are grounded in the history of Maryland's Eastern Shore. There are the obligatory murder stories such as the Murder of Sallie Dean and a sad tale featuring a child's ghost in Henderson. But the hauntings here are not always the usual Halloween fare.
There is the ghost island just west of Chrisfield. At one time, a small town stood on Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay with homes, shops, a small schoolhouse, and church. But the lovely little town became a victim of shifting currents that eroded the shores and after a terrible storm in 1912, the people began to leave. By 1922, Holland Island was gone - the houses and tress and shops disappeared into the Chesapeake. One house was moved, saved before it sank, taken to Chrisfield and that's when the haunting began.
Old Bohemia Church
Not all of the stories are tragic. The Old Bohemia Church in Cecil County had fallen into disrepair but was saved by the local historical society. People who visit there hear boots on the stairs and soft whisperings behind the closed doors of empty rooms. But the presence reported at the old St. Francis Church is benign. Set amidst rolling farmland, the old spirits lend an air of peace. Goodness haunts the Old Bohemia Church.
Mindie Burgoyne takes the reader on a fascinating tour of Eastern Shore haunted places where spirits move through old inns and stroll the grounds of historic farms. Burgoyne's spirits haunt the Eastern Shore, drifting through the fog, past whispering rushes and still wander the old homestead then melt into the ether where shadows break away from the darkness and fear comes shrouded with a touch of poignancy.